When decay infects a tooth, we can often treat it with a filling or a root canal procedure. If it is chipped or broken, a dental crown can usually restore it. However, there are some situations when restorative dentistry is unable to save the tooth, and your Leawood, KS, dentist has to extract it. When we do this, a small hole is left behind in the alveolar ridge bone where the tooth was, and it can be very sensitive. That is why we recommend socket preservation, a very important procedure if you have an extraction. It can help you maintain your smile and increase the success of any future restorations, like dental implants.

What Is Socket Preservation?

After a tooth is removed, it is common for the bone that once supported it to disappear, since there is no longer any purpose for it. In fact, there could be up to a 50 percent loss in the first year of extraction. This loss can lead to the formation of gaps between the teeth or they may drift out of alignment. Socket preservation is usually performed after and during the tooth extraction procedure. It involves a bone graft that is placed into the hole where the tooth used to be. The graft’s material is crafted either from another animal’s bone, a human bone, or synthetic materials. We cover it with a collagen membrane after it is placed and then suture the opening. The membrane helps your body naturally repair the socket.  

Why Does One Need This?

The main reason this treatment is done is to help with the look of the remaining teeth and gums. It will also help with alignment issues and streamline getting a dental implant in the future. Another reason is so that dry socket can be avoided. This happens when a blood clot that is protecting the area gets knocked out of it. Once it is gone, the nerve underneath it is exposed. 

Caring For It While It Heals

It is essential that if you have this procedure done that you take extra care of the area around it. We may recommend that you brush your teeth with an extra-soft toothbrush while it is healing. We will also suggest that you avoid activities that may cause pressure near it, such as eating hard foods, smoking, and using a straw. These things may loosen the blog clot, causing it to be knocked out. Following our advice will help you recover successfully. 

Contact Us For More Information 

Protecting your socket after a tooth extraction is important to your oral health. To learn more, schedule an appointment with us by calling Dreem Dentistry in Leawood, KS, today at 913-681-5500. We also serve patients who live in Overland Park and all surrounding communities.